US

DUI Suspect Who Hit Family Has Been Deported 15 Times Before

An illegal immigrant suspected of crashing into a California family while driving drunk has been deported more than a dozen times since 2002, according to federal immigration officials.

Constantino Banda-Acosta was arrested Saturday night in San Ysidro after allegedly running a stop sign and slamming into a car carrying Benjamin Lake, his wife Ingrid and their 6-year-old son Lennox. The boy was transported to Rady Children’s Hospital with severe injuries, including brain trauma, KGUN9 San Diego reported.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says Banda-Acosta, a Mexican citizen, has been deported at least 15 times, most recently on Jan. 10. The agency has issued an immigration detainer for Banda-Acosta in order to initiate deportation proceedings yet again.

“[ICE] has lodged a detainer against Mr. Banda seeking to take him into custody if and when he is released by local authorities to pursue additional immigration enforcement action and/or criminal prosecution,” ICE spokeswoman Lauren Mack said in a statement Tuesday. “Department of Homeland Security databases indicate Mr. Banda-Acosta has been repatriated to Mexico at least 15 times since 2002, most recently in January 2017.”

Banda-Acosta has a criminal record that includes two arrests for domestic violence charges in Chula Vista, Calif., reports KGUN9. His most recent arrest was on Jan. 9.

Banda’s estranged wife, who requested not to be named, told KGUN9 that he showed up at her home in Chula Vista on Jan. 20, just 10 days after his last deportation.

Under the Trump administration, immigration agents have prioritized the detention and removal of illegal immigrants convicted of DUI. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly confirmed in April that “even a single DUI” could trigger deportation proceedings if immigration officials believe the suspect is a threat to public safety.

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